Last week brought the second-highest rate of applications in West Midlands Police’s recorded history.
West Midlands Police has seen record numbers of people applying to join the force as student police officers.
The positive news has been welcomed at a time when everyone’s lives are being affected by the national response to COVID-19.
Last week saw 240 people submit applications for the student police officer programme – that’s more than double the previous week, and 75 per cent higher than the weekly average.
It means the overall total of applications to become a West Midlands Police officer has topped 7,500 since April 2019 when the force launched its new student officer programme in partnership with Staffordshire University.
Toni Williams, who is leading the force recruitment project, said: “We are going through challenging times, both as a nation and as a force, and so to see so many people wanting to pursue a police career with us is inspiring.
“We’ve had a fantastic response to our new degree-entry programme over the past 12 months and the efforts to attract and recruit new officers continue, even in these challenging times.
“Hearing that last week brought our second-highest rate of applications in recorded history is an uplifting message for all of us at the moment and we thank everyone who has taken the time to consider our career options and submit an application.”
The applicants, if successful, will join one of the student officer programmes, which sees recruits work across frontline response, neighbourhood and investigations teams during their training.
Training lasts three years, or two years if the student officer has previously graduated with a degree.
Toni added: “In truth, we expected to see applications reduce for a short time as we deal with the current situation. We also hoped people who may be facing an uncertain future may start to consider policing as a career option as time goes on. To see such an immediate impact is overwhelming.”
The West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner, David Jamieson said: “It’s terrific to see so many people wanting to come forward to serve and protect their community.
“In these difficult and unprecedented times, to see the number of applicants soar is testament to the great spirit of the people of the West Midlands.
“Police officers are key to ensuring that communities are kept safe and reassured and I am pleased that we are able to continue recruitment.
“Officers and staff at West Midlands Police work 24/7 to protect the public and keep us all safe, more applications means a much wider pool of excellent talent to help us in that effort.”
Ordinarily, the police officer recruitment process involves candidates attending assessment centres, medicals, fitness tests and uniform fittings – all involving travel and face-to-face contact.
In the current climate, West Midlands Police have changed their process to reduce the need for travel and contact with others, such as moving some aspects online.
The student officers train on the job, moving around different force departments, while also studying towards a degree or graduate diploma in Professional Policing Practice.
To learn more about our entry routes, visit jobs.west-midlands.police.uk/police-officer-recruitment.
In addition to new police officers, West Midlands Police are actively recruiting new members of their Contact Centre, which handles all calls and live chat messages into the 101 and emergency 999 lines.
To see more about all of the career options – be it as an officer, staff member or volunteer – visit wmp.referrals.selectminds.com/latest-jobs.